Bellator has found its replacement for longtime color commentator Jimmy Smith.
Not two weeks after the outfit and Smith, Bellator announced in a Tuesday release that referee “Big” John McCarthy will be handling color commentating duties as of Bellator 192 on Jan. 20. Promotional president Scott Coker has since told that McCarthy is “retiring from officiating,” and although McCarthy himself later refrained from retiring outright, he did tell he won’t be reffing any major MMA bouts.
Sharing the load with McCarthy alongside play-by-play men Mike Goldberg and Mauro Ranallo will be light heavyweight Chael Sonnen, who signed an extension to resume his recurring role in the broadcast booth.
One of the sport’s most recognizable figures, McCarthy has worked as the third man in the cage for over two decades, lending his services to countless UFC, Bellator, and ACB events – among others – and played an integral role in hammering out the unified rules enacted by the Association of Boxing Commissions last year.
McCarthy will actually call Sonnen’s next fight at Bellator 192 in Inglewood, Calif., where the UFC alum meets Quinton “Rampage” Jackson in the first tilt of an eight-man heavyweight tourney.
As for Smith, the former fighter and longtime Bellator commentator has drawn interest from the UFC and revealed Monday on “” that he might have found a new home within the week. He and the Scott Coker-led outfit recently parted ways when they couldn’t come to terms on a new deal. Smith had been on a four-year contract with a 2018 option.
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